Deceit, alas, is everywhere.
Today, as Latitude News presents our weekly review of bizarre stories in the media overseas, we illustrate that unfortunate truism with a collection of tales involving gangs manipulating victims with lies, prisoners accused of breaching the public trust and student cheats.
First, we go to Ireland, where the Gardai (Gaelic for police) recently rescued 12 young African women from a human trafficking ring organized by Irish and Nigerian gangs, the Irish Independent reported. The rescue is good news, of course, but the dastardly twist is that these lowlifes threatened the women’s families with voodoo if they didn’t travel from Africa to Ireland to work as prostitutes.
“The ‘black magic’ hoodwinks the women into believing their families will suffer if they don’t agree to travel here,” the newspaper reports. “The women are targeted by local ‘witch doctors’ who are hired by gangs to act as recruitment agents in areas where voodoo rituals are part of the culture.”
The newspaper also reports the use of debt bondage, a scam where the traffickers pay for the women’s travel and then force them to work as prostitutes to pay back the cost of their fare.
Latitude News has seen this voodoo approach before in stories involving scams and prostitution.
It’s snake oil, African-style.
Jail n’ juice
In May, Indian lawmaker Yeduguri Sandinti Jaganmohan Reddy, or Jagan, as he’s called, was arrested and jailed in Central Prison Chanchalguda in Hyderabad, India on embezzlement charges.
Now, he’s juicing.
The Times of India reports Jagan is having a fine time while he sits in jail waiting for authorities to finish their probe into allegations that firms invested in his businesses in return for favors from his father, a former chief minister (basically a governor) of Andhra Pradesh, a massive province on India’s eastern coast.
In jail, Jagan is reportedly living off vegetable juices, exercising, playing badminton on a court reserved for jailed politicians and reading the Bible and other books. “Jagan reportedly is keen on stretching to keep himself physically fit,” the newspaper writes.
But life isn’t all roses for Jagan, who famously went on an “Odarpu yatra” — a tour he took two years ago when he visited the families of citizens who died or killed themselves when his father passed away in 2009.
Recently, Jagan’s family couldn’t see him in prison because he’d already used up his visiting rights for the week. Some politicians tried to see him, but they were turned away.
Students cheat. It happens. But in Dubai, a lot of students cheat.
The United Arab Emirates-based newspaper, The National, reports that around 630 12th-grade students knew the questions to a state biology exam before they took it in late June. Around 24,700 students took the test in total.
“Officials at the ministry were alerted by teachers from across the country that the exam had been leaked to pupils via BlackBerry Messenger,” the newspaper reports. “Culprits were identified through interviews and a thorough review of all biology papers to identify a pattern of cheating.”
The emirate’s education ministry meted out a cruel punishment for the cheeky kids they nabbed: they made them take the exam again.
The newspaper quotes a school administrator who offered an idea how to avoid the problem again: “There should also be more controls to keep the papers secure,” said Sadiq Al Rashid, the principal of Al Daid School.
Um, that would be your job, pal.